Hong Kong to Shenzhen: an ending and a new beginning

Our last days in Hong Kong were spent running errands and visiting the majestic Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island. I am writing this from Shenzhen where we have settled into our Airbnb apartment.

One of the last touristy things we got to do in Hong Kong was visit the Tian Tan Buddha located in the mountains of Lantau Island. A highlight of our escape was actually getting there by the Ngong Ping 360 gondola which affords some spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the Tian Tan Buddha himself. Once we touched down we were of course bombarded with many souvenir shops but past all of that are the 268 steps up to the largest outdoor, seated, bronze buddha in the world. Once we made it up to the base of the buddha, we had another great view of the complex below and the nearby mountains. It was a humbling experience to stand in the shadow of the massive buddha.

Ngong Ping 360
Selfie with the Tian Tan Buddha in the distance
Tian Tan Buddha and the 268 steps leading to his base
Tian Tan Buddha
Nearby statues making offerings to the giant buddha

After visiting the giant buddha, we headed to the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas. Along the way we stopped to admire the architecture and surrounding gardens of the Po Lin Monastery which houses the 10,000 buddhas. Unfortunately I did not take any photos of the 10,000 buddhas since it was an intimate area for worshippers but I can say that it was one of the most beautiful temples I have ever witnessed. The walls were lined with golden buddhas with five large golden buddhas in the center of the hall. Even the ceilings were painted in brilliant colors and ornate patterns. I do wonder sometimes how such ornateness aligns with Buddhist traditions but I can’t deny that it has a very powerful impact and provides a sense of wonder and amazement. I recommend looking up a photo of the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas to see some images of this amazingly detailed masterpiece.

Temple in Po Lin Monastery
Another temple with incense burning in the courtyard

The rest of our time in Hong Kong was mostly spent running errands and tying loose ends. I am very happy to say that I got my bag back after a week of making due with basically one outfit. The other task we wanted to do in Hong Kong was replace my broken MacBook (in case you didn’t know, I spilled water on it in Hanoi and it completely died). Since my credit card information had been stolen while we were living in Hanoi, I had to make a ton of calls to try and use my new credit card information to get miles for my MacBook purchase. Long story short, Capital One really disappointed me with their awful customer service and I ended up not being able to use my credit card. Either way, I got my laptop since it was necessary for my continued study of programming.

We arrived in Shenzhen yesterday after approximately 2.5 hours on various trains/subways from Hong Kong. Crossing the border went surprisingly smooth (thanks, Forever Bright for setting us up with our visas). We have settled into our Airbnb apartment which I absolutely love since we have our own mini kitchen and bathroom. The neighborhood we are living in is so peaceful and quiet too which is so restoring for us introverts. It is also such a treat to be able to cook for ourselves again! We haven’t had a chance yet to really explore the area or Shenzhen but we’ll keep you all posted. We are also considering going to Hong Kong for Valentine’s day so you can expect to hear about that soon as well. As always, thanks for reading and see you again soon!

Sean doing work at our desk… and yay for our own washer/kitchen!
Love all the natural light in this apartment in a quiet residential district of Shenzhen
I’ve always wanted a cozy reading nook like this (so happy to have a laptop again!)
Our bathroom; notice the squatty potty in the shower plus the retractible clothes lines (blue towel is on one) for drying laundry

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